The Origins of Coffee

You both like coffee!

The legend goes that an Ethiopian goatherd named Kaldi noticed one day that when his goats consumed wild coffee berries, they started “dancing” and had a much higher level of energy. Kaldi tried one himself and experienced the same reaction. Amazed at the power the berries seemed to have, he brought some back to the abbot of the local monastery. The abbot consumed them and realized that he was more energetic afterwards, making it easier to stay awake during the long evening prayers he led.

Word about these berries slowly spread from Ethiopia to Yemen, Egypt and Arabia. Arabians roasted and brewed the coffee beans found inside the berries for the first time, similarly to how we do it now. By the 15th century coffee was consumed in the rest of the Middle East, Persia, Turkey and northern Africa. Eventually it also made it’s way to Italy and the rest of Europe and then to the Americas.

While we don’t know for sure who exactly discovered the coffee berries, scholars have determined that coffee was first used in the Ethiopian Highlands in the beginning of the 9th century. So the next time you sip your Venti iced white chocolate mocha with whipped cream, close your eyes and say a little “Thank you” to Kaldi the Ethiopian Goatherd. Even if it wasn’t his discovery, I’m sure he’ll pass along the message. Just like the power of coffee was passed throughout the world.


Leave a Comment